Cordkillers 103 – A Lot of Paperwork

Netflix adds 130 countries and lets you share your password, Sling cleans up its interface, and a new OTA DVR for cordcutters. With special guest Riley Blanton.

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CordKillers: 103 – A Lot of Paperwork
Recorded: January 11 2016
Guest: Riley Blanton

Intro Video

Primary Target

Signal Intelligence

  • New Sling TV interface rolling out this quarter
  • Sling TV CEO on the competition and internet TV’s future
    – New section called “My TV” surfacing favorites (based on viewing habits and user selection)Continue Watching, Recommendations
    – What’s Hot – beaking news, season finales – coming in a later release
    – Sports section will make it easier to find favorite teams, with sign up to sports pack in app
    – Adding ESPN3
    – RCA will offer 10-day free trials with antenna
    – Rolling out to all devices by end of March

Gear Up

Front Lines

Under Surveillance

Dispatches from the Front

Dear Tom and Brian,

I’m writing to comment on your discussion on Episode 102 about whether Netflix should concentrate solely on original content and de-emphasize the back catalog content. And you were also discussing how more and more streaming services are coming out with their own original content, and networks who already produce original content are making paid apps (like CBS).

And I think there’s a tipping point.

Here’s a scenario:

We want to watch the 11/22/63, and we plan to pay for Hulu+ to get that — But we already pay for Amazon Prime, Netflix, HBO and we still have cable. And one of my kids is a big anime fan so we have a membership to Crunchyroll, too. (And I support several podcasts via Patreon). I’ve reached my limit of what I will pay for.

So my idea is to binge watch 11/22/63: pay for one month of Hulu+ and then put the membership on hold. I figured we’d do something similar when the new Star Trek episodes come to the CBS all-access plan.

So, my question is, where’s the tipping point? How many memberships will people pay for before they decide to do some kind of a round robin like I described above?

If they only have original content, I can see myself doing this kind of thing. But services like Netflix, with their large back catalog, would be the ones I’d be least likely to put on hold. If they let their back catalog dwindle, I may find I can go a month or two without it.

Wondering what you think about this.

Love the show!



You questioned if “the kids” are still downloading torrents, or if streaming is kind now. I work at a university, and we’ve recently implemented stricter controls on Peer-to-Peer / filesharing activity on our network. Based on the number of students who got caught by that this fall (and based on subsequent conversations with some of them, as they basically get kicked off our network when we see torrent activity), I feel like I have some idea anyway. Downloads certainly seem to be down some from the heyday for those things, but we certainly saw that the activity is still common enough. Interestingly enough, when we returned from Christmas break, we saw an upswing again as everyone went back to using the filesharing programs while at home and forgot to uninstall when they got back to campus! 





HBO Now was not available on my platform of choice (Android) until after Game o Thrones was over.

I did not torrent the show even though I have both torrented and borrowed HBO Go credentials in the past. I did enjoy binge watching it with my wife during our free trial. I left my subscription active for one more month after the free trial to show my appreciation for the service.

I think next year will be different. HBO Now is a great experience and I can’t wait to watch Game of Thrones on my Android TV devices next year.





2015 Winter Movie Draft


It’s Spoilerin’ Time 102

Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Fargo (210), Master of None (Season 1), Making of a Murderer (Season 1)

01:40 – Winter Movie Draft

5:43 – Star Wars: The Force Awakens

14:20 – Fargo (210)

18:26 – Master of None (Season 1)

22:56 – Making of a Murderer (Season 1)

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Cordkillers 102 – What the Cool Kids Do

Will Netflix die? Game of Thrones wins most pirated again. Roku comes to HDR and 4K TVs.

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CordKillers: 102 – What the Cool Kids Do
Recorded:  January 4, 2016
Guest: Fraser Cain

Intro Video

Primary Target

  • Reed Hastings – CES 2016
    – Reed Hastings will again deliver a keynote at CES Wednesday at 8:30 AM
    – Used to be Bill Gates opened followed by Intel, Cisco, etc…
    – Now Intel’s Krzanich will open followed by VW, GM and Netflix (and then Samsung and YouTube)
  • Netflix is on F***ing Fire
    – 3 of top 5 top rated series on Rotten Tomatoes are Netflix
    – Making a Murderer, Jessia Jones, Master of None
    – Amazon has two (Man in High Castle, Transparent)
  • Netflix Will Feel the Squeeze from Hollywood in 2016
    – Julia Greenberg at Wired points out companies starting to use Netflix’s strategy
    – Hulu acquiring shows Netflix not interested in anymore (replays)
    – CBS All Access, Disney’s Services in China and UK

Signal Intelligence

  • Game of Thrones is the most pirated TV show of 2015
    – Game of Thrones the most pirated show of 2015 according to Torrent freak. 4 years running! 14.4 million downlaods
    – Walking Dead and Big Bang Theory 6.9 and 4.4 million respectively
    – Also among the top 10 most downloaded shows this year are Arrow, The Flash, Mr. Robot, Vikings, Supergirl, The Blacklist and Suits.
    – 480p copies still most popular

Gear Up

  • Roku is betting big on 4K UHD and HDR TVs this year
    – TCL will come with Roku’s OS on 4K TV this spring
    – 4K channel to help find 4K content
    – Roku putting out reference design for HDR, workign with Dolby
    – Competing with Samsung (Tizen) and LG (WebOS) and of course Android TV

Front Lines

Under Surveillance

Dispatches from the Front
Hey Tom & Brian,

Netflix just released a special episode of Marco Polo – Wait! don’t delete this message so fast!

This is probably the best episode of Marco Polo, yet. It’s all about Hundred Eyes and Kublai Khan and how they met. Marco Polo doesn’t appear at all.

Yeah, I thought you’d like that.

Love the show!




Happy New Year Tom and Brian,

Like you guys, I was pleasantly surprised when the MPAA launched last year. The site looked good and was fairly comprehensive and easy to use. 

Imagine my surprise then, when two weeks ago, I went back to the site to search for some holiday movies and Netflix was no longer showing up in the search results. I double-checked and sure enough, Netflix has been completely removed from the site.

I know there are several alternatives, but I was curious if you guys had heard anything about this or if you had any thoughts or insights.





Well, finally cutting the cord, for the 3rd and hopefully final time. This time I think it might actually take. I’ve had a similar issue as Tom with the spouse not quite being ready. We’ve had a Chromecast for a while, but she doesn’t really like having to rely on her phone to work the tv. But now we’ve got an Apple TV, and she is loving it, especially the new remote. I unhooked the cable box for a week before we had our U-Verse TV service disconnected, and we never missed it. We can get all of our shows on Netflix, Hulu, and the network tv apps. Plus we already have a small library of movies in iTunes. Even my 8 year old loves it cause she can watch her YouTube stuff on it.

So my suggestion if you have a reluctant spouse or family member: the new Apple TV!

Andy in Taylor, Tx




Hi Brian and Tom,

I’m collecting as much current and updated information as I can to include in a revised/updated version of “Cord Cutters Guide to Motorsports” that I’ve posted the past couple of years to the CordKillers Reddit.

Not even sure how many in the CordKillers family know about it, but before I post the update, I’m looking for any feedback you or viewers may have.

Open to feedback on how I may possibly improve the formatting, organization, and any information I’m missing that people would like to see added. A table of contents at the top is being considered.. The good news, many more options are becoming available, the bad news, it’s getting unruly to keep it all organized in the current format!

Anyone wishing to give feedback can just drop me a note on the Reddit at “perfectface4radio”

I hope to have the 2016 version posted before the end of the week, and will continue to update it as updated information becomes available throughout 2016.

Take care.
Jeff (perfect face for radio)




Brian and Tom,

It occurred to me as I was listening to a recent episode of Cordkillers on Doggcatcher how perfect podcast consumption is compared with TV shows. I don’t watch a ton of movies, and they don’t really apply to this concept, but do you ever think that watching series will ever approach the convenience and simplicity of consuming podcasts? Think about it – you subscribe to the shows you want and unwatched episodes appear in a single, consolidated chronological feed. As you watch the shows, they disappear from the list. You could binge on any show or watch a mix in order of release date. Surely it wouldn’t be too hard to create a way to pay to subscribe to an RSS-like mechanism to add a show to the feed. It may not be a pain point for some people, but I’m usually around 5 episodes behind on all of the series I watch, and tracking which episodes I’ve seen and bouncing around the different services is arduous, even with apps like SideReel.

I’d – gasp – start paying for a package again if I could create an interface that took the searching and thinking out of the equation and simply gave me the shows I wanted without the headache of having to remember where I left off or fighting through a ton of distracting excess content (see the HBO GO Roku interface).

Think we’ll ever get there? Is it too pie in the sky? I know you can do it today with torrents, but do you think in 10 years there will be a way for consumers to compensate creators in such a way that we will be able to do it legally?

Thanks for awesoming weekly,





2015 Winter Movie Draft


Cordkillers 100 – Cat Video Stink

How YouTube could win a Golden Globe and why Mystery Science Theater is genius.

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CordKillers: 100 – Cat Video Stink
Recorded: December 14 2015
Guest: Hammond Chamberlain

Intro Video

Primary Target

  • 23% of Households Will Be Cord-Cutters by 2019, According to eMarketer
  • The Future of Television: More Choices and Greater Quality
  • Cord-Cutting Is Accelerating
    -The total number of households that don’t subscribe to pay-TV by the end of 2015 will be about 17% of U.S. households.
    -Analyst eMarketer estimates 23% US hh w/o trad. TV by 2019
    – WSJ says 20.8 mm by end of this year 17%
    – Logan Hill WSJ interview on future of TV
    – President of AMC Josh Sapan “Before the current generation, the term “TV show” meant something a little dumb. And so you can say there are too many shows relative to the economics of the old system, but with the new system, I would not say there are too many shows.
    – Maker Studios President Ynon Kreiz “No matter what device you use, the big advantage is the freedom to make those choices. I see a golden age of television that’s less about apps or channels, and more about the when and where.”
    – Lachlan Murdoch, Executive chariman 21st Century Fox “In a world of limitless choice, mediocrity is death”
    – Max Cohen, head of Mobile at Oculus Rift “ Down the line, we’ll get full-length VR movies, where you’re the star and interact with all the characters. We’ll get a 360-degree camera at the end of the piano at a Billy Joel concert, where it feels like he’s singing to you. “

Signal Intelligence

  • Amazon and Netflix land a dozen Golden Globe nominations
  • Cord-cutting services net huge nominations at Golden Globes
    – Amazon (5)
    – Transparent (Best Comedy)
    – Mozart in the Jungle (Best Comedy)
    – Gael Garcia Bernal – Mozart (Best Actor Comedy)
    – Jeffrey Tambor – Transparent (Best Actor Comedy)
    – Jusith Light – Transparent (Best supporting)

    Netflix (8)
    – Robin Wright House of Cards (Best Actress – Drama)
    – Orange is the New Black (Best Comedy)
    – Uzo Aduba OITNB (Best supporting )
    – Idris Elba – Beasts of No Nation (Supporting actor)
    – Narcos (Best Drama Series)
    – Wagner Moura – Narcos (Best Actor Drama)
    – Aziz Ansari Master of None (Best Actor – Comedy)
    – Lily Tomlin Grace and Frankie (Best Actress Comedy)

    – Hulu (1)
    – Casual (Best Comedy)

Gear Up

Front Lines

  • Verizon Fios will let you stream from your DVR when you’re out of the house
    – Verizon Fios TV service customers can now stream “Nearly all of their DVR-recorded shows” anywhere with an Internet connection. So nearly as good as setting up a slingbox. Verizon likes things that are almost something. Like FiOS TV’s director Maitreyi Krishnaswamy saying on a TV of Tomorrow conference panel that she has “pretty much cut the cord.” She was talking up Verizon’s Go90 service.
  • AT&T to Launch Mobile Entertainment Service, CEO Says
    – AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson told an investor conference last week that AT&T is planning to launch its own mobile entertainment service. He also said that in January AT&T will launch a ”premium content” package that will offer “mobile stacked content together with a really robust wireless asset.” He also said they would offer “proprietary content” through DirecTV or mobile and possibly in cooperation with joint venture Otter Media which has a majority stake in Fullscreen. DIGITAL!
  • Yahoo Launches A Video Guide App For Cord Cutters
    – Yahoo wanted cord cutters so bad it paid for a whole season of Community.It’s latest effort to win your love is a new app called Yahoo Video Guide for iOS and Android. You look for shows to watch and it will find them among services you have installed, like HBO, Netflix, Amazon and Hulu, and even launch the apps for you. 
  • That Mystery Science 3000 Theater Kickstarter Just Set A New Record
    – Mystery Science Theater raised a record-breaking $5.76 million on Kickstarter towards 14 episodes including a Christmas special. The new MST3K will star Felicia Day, Jonah Ray, and Paton Oswalt and Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland are tapped to write!
  • Sling TV adds local content to its Latino streaming service
    – Sling TV’s spanish-language package Sling Latino is adding local broadcast feeds from Univision and UniMas. (Univision’s own service offers local news in New York, Los Angeles and Houston)
  • Google Play Movies and TV gets AirPlay support, but Apple TV app still missing
    – Google updated it’s Google Play app for iOS to include airplay. So you can now send your Google Play videos to your 3rd or 4th generation Apple TV. 

Under Surveillance

Dispatches from the Front

Dear Cord Killers,

My email should be reaching you in time for the last episode before the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I’m sure that you’ll be going to see it on release day, and so I need to ask you for a solemn promise: PLEASE. DO. NOT. SPOIL.

Personally, I’m waiting until I am back home with my family, so I won’t be seeing Star Wars until around Christmas. I’m aware that other places and people will be throwing spoilers left and right, but I’d like you to set the standard: Please keep spoilers to Spoilerin’ Time, at least for the first two weeks.

Please (and I’m looking at you, Brian) try to avoid dropping little tidbits here and there as you skirt around important plot points. If you liked it, or you hated it, I’m fine with that, and by all means say so, but I don’t need to know why right now.

Or, if you don’t think you’ll be able to contain yourself, please tell me now, and I’ll hold off on watching Cord Killers until the new year.

See you on the other side!






Hey Brian & Tom,
With the release of The Force Awakens just around the corner, I thought I’d share my view on the craziness surrounding the premier of this movie.
I’m 23, I’m a geek, and I love sci-fi and fantasy stuff. That being said, I’ve never been in to Star Wars. My parents where never really in to it, and when the prequels came out, I was still a bit too young to really notice or care on my own. I actually hadn’t even seen a Star Wars movie the whole way through until 2013, when I decided I’d finally sit down and watch all the movies.
I hate to say it, but I was really underwhelmed. I’d had basically everything spoiled from me from the ridiculous number of references in pop culture, and that certainly contributed to my indifference, but besides just that, it seemed like any other cheesy 70’s sci-fi movie. I wanted to love Star Wars as much as I see everyone else loving it, but I couldn’t understand the hype surrounding this franchise.
So I thought about it for a while, talked to some of my friends about it, and I think I understand why it seems like so many people love it and why I personally can’t get in to it: Nostalgia. Everyone 30+ seems to LOVE everything Star Wars, but when I speak to people around my age about it, they respond with the same passive interest as me. No one hates it, but they don’t love it either.
I think a lot of the hype surrounding Star Wars comes from the fact that people grew up with it, and as children we’re much more forgiving and think things are much cooler. My generation actually has something similar to this: Harry Potter. It comes up in like 90% of conversations we have, we get super hyped for anything new in the series, and we look back on it with fond memories. My friends and I are even trying to plan a trip to Harry Potter World in Universal Studios. On the other hand, I don’t think Star Wars has come up more than a handful of times in conversation, even with the leadup to Episode VII.
It’s been an odd experience watching the hype build for The Force Awakens. It seems like 50% of the news stories are related to it in some way, podcasts are dedicated to it, no one seems to be able to stop talking about it. I’m not complaining, and I’m not asking you guys to stop, I just think it’s interesting from an outsiders perspective.
Of course I will go see the movie when it comes out, and I do hope I like it enough to start getting in to this series a bit more. Just thought I’d share. “””





How can we make an argument for ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX to stream their programing on demand? Now we record their shows and blow by the commercial with the 30 second forward button. Streaming on demand we are forced to watch the commercials.  Try to fast forward and they make you watch another commercial.  Would that not be a good selling point to their clients? 
Best Regards,  




 If NBC wants me to fork over $4 a month for their streaming comedy service Hoo-Ha* there is only one way for them to make it happen. Stream all of David Letterman’s Late Night and his morning show and I will gladly subscribe.

* Hoo-Ha may not be the name for their service but it should be.




Just wanted to share a thought on YouTube Red after hearing you talk about the value of it.  I have to admit, I was definitely one of the people that saw no reason why I would ever pay for YouTube Red (since YouTube is free after-all)  but after using it, unbeknownst to me, since the day it came out I don’t think I will want to go back to the days of free YouTube with ads. 

Google/YouTube made the smart move of including this as part of the Google Play All Access membership.  I signed up for a great music service and ended up with a great ad free video service as well.  
I was also pleasantly surprised at how seamlessly it all appeared on my devices. Roku, XboxOne, and obviously my phone all gave me the YouTube Red logo at the top of the app on day one.

The way they did this reminds me of when I had my 4 disc a month Netflix account in college that then introduced streaming, and eventually lead to my streaming only account.  Or my Amazon Prime account that I started for the shipping that  also lead to yet another streaming account I use on most of my devices.

Have you being using Red? Thoughts?


– Byron



Nile Says: I think Brian asked about this, but it might have been someone else on one of Tom’s other shows. I never speed up the playback of a podcast I’m intimately familiar with, because the change in voices messes with my head. HOWEVER, when I start listening to a new podcast, I’ve been in the habit of playing it at around 1.25x so I get the efficiency, and my mind thinks the hosts voices sound that from the very start. Thanks for the show guys!




2015 Winter Movie Draft